Monday, July 23, 2007

The Harry Potter gospel

An search for "gospel according to" nets over 11,000 hits. You can read "The Gospel According to Superman," "The Gospel According to the Simpsons" or, shockingly, "The Gospel According to Jesus." Personally, I prefer the Gospel of Mark; it's a quick read.

And today, Christianity Today posted a story titled "The Gospel According to Harry Potter," not to be confused with a book by the same name. (WARNING: This link is filled with spoilers.) Here's the opening:
I first met Harry Potter when my grandmother was dying.

On New Years Day 1999, she had a massive stroke from which she would never recover. Not wanting her to die alone, we took turns sitting by her bedside, round the clock. The night I spent with her, I brought along my Bible, the biggest cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee I could find, and a new novel, picked up from the bookstore on the way to the hospital: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Both the Bible and the "Boy Who Lived" proved good company during the watches of the night. Both pointed the way to hope in the face of death.

And there was at least one echo from the Scriptures in the Sorcerer's Stone: Lord Voldemort, the Hitleresque dark wizard in J.K. Rowling's fictional works, was defeated not by power but by love—by a young mother who sacrificed her life to save her young son. In Rowling's world, that kind of love is stronger than any magic. It can even conquer death.

By the time Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows opens, however, it seems that death finally has the upper hand.
We discussed here last week whether Harry Potter was a Christian. Bob Smietana writes that after 3,365 soul-less pages, "Christ begins to whisper in The Deathly Hallows."

I'll stop there so I don't spoil any plot twists. If you've already finished the book -- I have not yet begun, but my wife is almost there -- let me know if you agree.

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